Certification for cycling mechanics, simply stated, will begin the process of raising the level of technical professionalism in the cycling industry, and what a scary thought that seems to be for most mechanics. Do I need to be certified to work on bicycles? The answer can be both yes and no. You can certainly continue to work on bicycles without certification, but having that certification title after your name will identify you as a technician with a known, industry-recognized set of skills…and that will mean a lot to both your customer and employer.
The PBMA has sent out an industry wide proposal requesting that all the stake holders for technical education and professional development come together to start the process of developing a centralized certification process.
Our long term goals are:
These goals are not intended generate funds or make individual mechanics do anything that they are not already doing. These goals are intended to set apart those who are true professionals and want to be considered as such. These goals are targeted at a certification and ranking program that is recognized by the entire cycling industry and intended to better the entire technical side of the profession.
The future for professional mechanics is bright. Bike sales will continue, be it from bicycle retailers, online or big box. There are bikes that will always need servicing and we, as professionals, can't wait until the future to plan for the changes that we all see happening. Planning now creates opportunities for the future and starting this conversation now means that consumers will be educated, beginning today, on the difference between a professionally certified mechanic and the guy slapping bikes together at your favorite big box store.
You can read our press release here and you can view our proposal to the industry here. The PBMA will not be able to complete this task without the help of the entire cycling industry. This program will branch into all aspects of the technical side from manufacturing to final assembly in the shop.
Looking at a resume on paper is a simple way to judge a mechanic’s skill set. Seeing that the mechanic is certified and has continued their educational training makes them a better, stronger job candidate. Our aim is to use the certification process to show the cycling public the value inherent in working with a professional mechanic.
We have shared this information publicly because closed-door, back room meetings are not what we are about. Open communication and sharing of information create community and build stronger and better industries.
We know that this pathway may very well upset some mechanics. We simply ask that you consider the future of our industry, as well as the future of your career. We ask you to think a little bit outside the box and look at other trade crafts and envision how can we grow without a pathway of our own to grown on. Ask what could set yourself apart from the person working next to you. Ask yourself how do you show that difference in simple terms to a consumer or prospective employer in just a brief moment.
We hope you'll join us on this pathway. It will begin with regional training opportunities in the near future to continue to add upon the skills that you already possess. We aren't building this alone and we will not be dictating what it will be…instead, this is a team process, involving the entire industry. We are simply facilitating an industry-wide process and focusing our vision on a goal that will benefit everyone involved.
The PBMA Board of Directors
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